Lynn’s Perfect Soft Chocolate Chip Keto Cookies

 

Soft and Chewy Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies:

These keto cookies are a piece of cake to make.  I take the easy route and mix all ingredients together (minus the chocolate chips) and blend.  Once everything is mixed stir in your choclate chips, spoon into balls and bake.

Include the collagen if you’re looking for a higher protein option and elimitimate the sour cream if you prefer a dairy-free cookie.  The sour cream makes these super soft.  If you’re going for the dairy, the cookies don’t brown and may not seem ready but they are!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup collagen protein powder (optional- a nice option to increase protein)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, coconut oil or ghee for a richer flavour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (eliminate with no substitute for a dairy-free option) 
  • 1/4 cup low carb sweetener – monk fruit (SugarLike and Lakanto are both great)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt 
  • 1/2 cup Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chip cookies 
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºC.
2. Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in one bowl using an electric mixer.
3. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and roll into balls, gently press down into the baking sheet to flatten.
5. Bake for 15 minutes to 20 minutes depending on cookie size.
6. Let cool and enjoy!

 

Becoming a Carnivore, by Kelly Hamilton, C.H.N.

Becoming a Carnivore

by Kelly Hamilton, C.H.N.

I’d like to start off by saying that I am by no means a doctor, therefore I am incapable of diagnosing anyone with anything, nor recommending any sort of diet protocol to help fix anyone thats dealing with… anything. I am merely a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, who knows a thing or two about quality food, and has done years of experimenting with nutrition. 

This is my personal account of how a zero-carb, meat-based, full-on-carnivore diet has changed my life. In less than a month.

WHY I STARTED.

To really get things going, I will list the myriad of symptoms that I have been dealing with over the last five or six years or so.  Some intermittent, and some persisting the entire time, or even my entire life.

  • Bloating – like legit “6-month pregnant” style after every meal
  • Intestinal bleeding (that showed up in my stool on and off for a few years)
  • Itchy skin
  • Chronically dry and very itchy, scabby scalp that resembled psoriasis
  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Seasonal allergies (these babies came on around 5 years ago or so, bad enough to make me HATE the spring)
  • Hormonal issues that included: amenorrhea (no menstrual cycle for two years) and then severe dysmenorrhea (extremely painful, VERY long, and awful menstrual periods – safe to say I made up for the lost time, and more)
  • Cystic back acne
  • Weight fluctuations and a particularly hard time losing weight despite efforts
  • Mood imbalance
  • Mild depression/anxiety symptoms

Basically, I felt as though I was a train wreck. I tried a host of different approaches to solve many of the problems. I followed a strict ketogenic (high fat low carb) diet, a cyclic ketogenic diet, a simply high fat diet, water fasting, bone broth fasting, taking ALL of the supplements, playing around with different shampoos, cutting out random food groups, a strict elimination diet free of all allergens – each trial with very little success to be perfectly honest. (Although, the high saturated fat, which remained a staple throughout the last 4 years brought my period back initially, so I will give credit here where credit is due.)

And then a coworker told me about a podcast they had listened to with a girl who had cured some far more serious chronic health problems by going full carnivore. It sounded crazy enough, thus, I decided to give it a go.

THE MIRACLE.

I concluded that my diet would now consist of: quality, locally sourced meat, cooked in only butter, and Himalayan pink salt. Oh, also herbal tea, and organic coffee.

The following is a chronology of what took place next. It’s not all nice, but it’s all real. 😐

I had been doing a ketogenic diet prior to this for about two months, with less than 30g of carbs, so I suspected the adjustment would be seamless. Let me tell you, it was not.

The first two days, I felt pretty ok other than my still prevalent seasonal allergies.  My bowel movements were weird and less “together” than usual but I was feeling alright.

By the third day, I was dragging my butt. My bowel movements were now (*disclaimer* TMI) straight water and bile, needed the bathroom ASAP, and there were multiple per day. #fun On top of this, my entire body felt as though I had the flu – deeply achy muscles, and my lower back/sacral area hurt so bad I could barely walk. My head was foggy and I felt like concentrating on anything was impossible. I was sweating so bad at night that I had to get up and change a couple times. I started napping a lot, which is very unlike me.

These symptoms persisted for a few more days, which sounds like enough to make a person up and quit. However, what also happened by day 4 is that my severe seasonal allergy symptoms mostly cleared up. My back that had been riddled with zits, was clear for the first time in, like, years. My joints felt much more mobile, like they’d been so inflamed for so long I hadn’t known the difference. My mood felt more stable, and I had less anxious thoughts. I also dropped almost 5lbs by day six (likely water retention and inflammation, but still, it felt good). The itchy scalp “psoriasis” had vanished, which might very well be the best part since I’d had that for my whole life.

Once the chronic diarrhea cleared up 😐 , which took another couple of days, I had ZERO bloating. I also now had the flattest stomach I can remember having.

The energy took an additional week or so to come back, but by day 14, I was feeling like a new person entirely.

It has been just shy of thirty days, and I am still feeling so much sharper in my thought processes, I have zero bloating, and all of the symptoms that had subsided have stayed away! There have been a total of 3 sporadic days where I fell slightly or completely off the wagon, and I have paid in symptoms the next days, including: itchy scalp, depressed mood, seasonal allergies, and some slight acne.

My hormonal system will probably take some more time to level out, it’s really too soon to know, but I feel hopeful that this might be the key to that, too.

THE PLAN.

I plan to continue with this “miracle” diet without cheating for at least two more weeks solid, at which point I will slowly grow my repertoire of foods one item at a time. #startingwithchocolate #justkidding #butimissit

I by no means feel (or know) that this diet could or should be used as a full time, forever protocol. To me it feels like a healing protocol. I will heal whatever gut related issues that I am dealing with by sticking to a meat-based, allergen and all plant-food-free diet, with the hopes that I’ll repair the potentially leaky gut I have, or whatever else is going on, and eventually be able to eat a “healthy” and balanced again.

WHAT A TYPICAL DAILY MEAL PLAN LOOKS LIKE FOR ME NOW:

For now, I am honestly loving the foods I get to eat. I also feel like I rejoice in the lack of decision fatigue on where and what to eat. I have saved a ton of money on food already, despite what you might think since it’s all meat, and I have basically retired my bad snacking habit.

I really try to vary the types of meat that I consume, but so far my preference is for red meat. I also regularly consume cod liver (weirdly enough, I love it now), salmon, sardines, and pork/boar sausages. Among some others here and there.

BREAKFAST:
– Coffee blended with 2 tbsp of salted grass-fed butter

LUNCH:
– Herbal tea blended with 2 tbsp of salted grass-fed butter
– 2 boar sausages
– 1/2 lb of beef meatballs, doused in butter and salt

DINNER:
– 1 medium sized steak
– 1/2 can of cod liver, 1/2 can of salted salmon mixed together

“DESSERT”:
– another herbal tea or bone broth with 1-2 tbsp of butter

And voila, only about 100-150g of fat, 60-70g of protein, and <1g carbs later.

RESOURCES.

Again, I am not a doctor, I am simply a short term success story of this awesome diet protocol. If you’d like to read some more amazing testimonies check out meatheals.com.  Or, read the story that convinced me, by Mikhaila Peterson, here.

For some legit doctor advice, check out the work of Dr. Shawn Baker, MD. He’s been following the protocol himself for an extended period of time, and he’s acquired some really promising insights. He was on “The Joe Rogan Experience”, which you can check out either on the Podcast app, or online here.

Best Steak Recipe, Ever. 

I named this as spontaneous, because that’s how it usually happens for me. I LOVE steak, but I typically stock up on all my meat once a week and freeze it, planning to save the sirloin steaks for days where I’m really treating myself to help keep myself on a budget. This usually results in me wanting a delicious, juicy steak like, right now – spontaneously. So, I have developed this steak cooking protocol, and now I rarely pre-plan because it’s so much better than any other steak cooking recipe I have ever tried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW ITEMS! More Keto-friendly Food Items

What’s New at Health Essentials This Spring: More Great Keto-Friendly Food Options!

Are you following a ketogenic diet? Are you trying to keep your diet low-carb? Do you simply appreciate great sugar-free and no-sugar-added food options?! Well, then you’ll LOVE these new foods we’ve got in this last month or so!

Laird Superfood Creamer – Dairy-free & Unsweetened

This awesome Superfood Creamer is simply amazing as an on the go addition to coffee, tea, smoothies or yogurt! It’s packed with nutritional ingredients including flavourful coconut milk powder, saturated-fat rich coconut oil, and Aquamin, derived from a red marine algae for added calcium and 72 other bio-available minerals! This blend was formulated by world-renowned big-wave surfer, Laird Hamilton.  He is a fitness guru who has spent years perfecting ways to pack tons of nutrients into his busy, fitness filled days for sustained and focused energy! Each packet contains only 3g of total carbohydrates!

 

Suzie’s Goodfats Bars

 

These ridiculously delicious little bars are the perfect snack for long, busy days on the go, or as a treat after a long work day! PLUS, with less than 5g of net carbs per bar, no need to worry about falling out of ketosis. Believe us, you’ll be surprised at how much they taste like a treat. Available in Coconut Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Almond Chocolate.

 

 

Barbecue season anyone? These next items are must haves for keto-friendly barbecues.

Crazy Mooskies – No Sugar Added Original or Spicy BBQ Sauce

 

Wait, you mean I can have BBQ sauce on a keto diet? YES! This one. With less than 1g of carbs, and 0g of sugar, this tasty gluten free barbecue sauce will have your burgers, steaks or chicken breasts tasting mouth-wateringly delicious!!

 

 

 

Crazy Mooskies Gourmet Tomato Ketchup

 

First BBQ sauce, now ketchup?! Um, yup. This DELICIOUS ketchup is actually a game changer. Who didn’t grow up thinking ketchup was the best sauce around? We sure did. Until we learned the amount of sugar in a serving of conventional ketchup. Let’s just say that this is the best darn thing we’ve seen in a while. Sweetened with stevia, this awesome natural ingredient ketchup has just 1g of naturally occurring sugar per 2 tbsp serving. #yes

 

 

 

Suzie’s Organic Yellow, Spicy Brown & Dijon Mustards

 

 

And of course, what good BBQ is complete without mustard?! We don’t think there’s any! This extremely clean and organic mustard has 0g of carbohydrates per serving, and it’s SO delicious. Plus, it’s made with all local ingredients from the Northwest, so you can feel great about supporting this awesome company, while also enjoying some of the best mustard we have ever tried!

 

 

 

 

 

Updated List of Our Keto Friendly Foods

We’ve been searching high and low for clean, delicious low carb food and here’s what we’ve found.

Several of us have been doing a ketogenic diet and are loving it!
Come by if you’re in need of keto friendly recipe ideas or have any questions.

Find some of our favourite keto friendly foods here.

 

Our Meat Selection

Our Meat Selection

We have a wide selection of meat at Health Essentials.
We do our best to source all of our meat as locally as possible from the most natural sources available to us. We have everything from Locally Sourced Organic & Grass-fed meats, wild-Sourced Kangaroo.  We are what we eat eats, so ensuring that the animals that we’re consuming are eating the diets that they were naturally meant to do will ensure the health of the meat that we get from them.  All of the local farms that we work with are committed to sustainable, humane and top of the line practices – and we’ve talked to them all personally about it! 🙂

Ketosis, explained.

A Ketogenic Diet

If you’re at all familiar with the world of natural health or weight loss, chances are you’ve come across the words: ketogenic, ketosis, or ketone.  Though you may have heard these words, or perhaps adopted some of the main principles surrounding them, we think it’s important to know what they mean and to fully understand what this method of eating really entails.  😉 

Definitions: 

  • Ketogenic diet – a diet that tends to promote the metabolic formation of ketone bodies by causing the body to use fat (rather than carbohydrate) as its principal energy source.
  • Ketosis – a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues.
  • Ketone body – any of three related compounds (acetone, acetoacetic acid, beta-hydroxybutyric acid) produced during the metabolism of fats.

Things can sometimes get tricky when it comes to the world of “diets”.  Often, we’re thrown a million and one suggestions as to what we are supposed to be eating daily, or even hourly.  What can help to make it easier, is to really understand what is going on in the body when we consume certain foods.  

Using Fats for Fuel vs Using Carbs for Fuel

Fats and carbohydrates are typically thought of as the two main fuel sources for the body.  Carbohydrates provide very short term and quick supplies of energy, while fats a more long term, and far slower supply.  Carbohydrates are actually the cell’s “preferred” choice of energy… because they are absorbed extremely quickly to produce energy.  Fats are used as energy sources only in an absence of carbohydrates.

When we first wake up in the morning, our bodies are “fasting”.  This means that we haven’t eaten in 8-12 hours and in this state we have begun to use our fat stores for energy.  Thus, our body is burning ketones.  When we eat a “breakfast” meal that is full of carbohydrates, our body quickly comes out of this fasting state and uses glucose (sugar that makes up carbs) as a fuel source.  This is all fine and well if we are expending energy and burning off what we’ve just consumed.  In many cases, however, we’re consuming more energy than we actually need to use immediately, and the glucose is converted to fat and stored in the body.

Ketogenic Diet or Low Carb, High Fat Diets

Ketogenic diets are very high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. They are designed to put the body into a ketogenic state, or ketosis.  The ratios of fats to protein to carbohydrates varies a bit for everyone, but the graph above is based on an average carbohydrate tolerance.  Due to the body’s preference to use glucose for fuel, it’s important to keep the carbohydrate intake to a minimum*.  This will help your body stay in ketosis and burn fat for fuel.

 

How do I know my body is in ketosis?

There are a few common methods of testing to see whether your body has entered ketosis.

  • Keto sticks – you can purchase sticks to test ketone levels in saliva or urine to see if you’re in a ketogenic state
  • Blood ketone test kit
  • Most people will notice a stronger smelling urine
  • The breath starts to smell a bit
  • Generally people will notice some weight loss, especially fat reduction
  • Appetite suppression

Cyclic Ketosis

Some people who eat a strict ketogenic diet will stick to this method of eating everyday with no “cheat” days.  Others will do a carbohydrate re-feed day once a week.  This is sometimes termed as cyclic ketosis because you’re forcing the body into ketosis most days, and then allowing it to leave a state of ketosis for one day.

A hormone in the body known as leptin is produced by our fat cells to regulate our appetite and promote satiety.  When we eat too many carbs, our body can become resistant to leptin and we never feel full. Often people find when they follow a strict low carb diet for too long their leptin levels fall too low and they feel hungry more often.  A carbohydrate re-feed day can reset this balance and ensure that the body stays leptin-sensitive.

 


*Note: When counting or tracking carbohydrates, be sure that you subtract the fibre from the total, as it will not effect your state of ketosis.

Ketogenic diets are not necessarily suitable for every person or every lifestyle.  Everyone is completely different.

Check out our Keto-Friendly products and food list for low carbs foods you can find at Health Essentials.

 

 

 

Keto Smoothie Recipe

Keto Chocolate Smoothie

Are you embarking on a ketogenic diet journey?! Looking for some low carb, and DELICIOUS snack, treat or meal ideas? Well, here is one to add to your repertoire! This delicious smoothie will satisfy any sweet tooth, and leave you full for hours!

Ingredients:
– 1 scoop Chocolate protein powder
– 1 tbsp Cacao Nibs
– 1 Tbsp Organic Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
– 1 cup canned Coconut Milk
– 1 cup ice, or for a hot drink 1/2 cup hot waterBlend with a blender or heat for a hot drink!

Grassfed Butter 101

(Grassfed) Butter 101

Butter – known traditionally as “Nature’s Multivitamin” – is definitely in high demand at Health Essentials. We definitely put that s*** on everything ;).  But, like anything else amazing in this world… not all butter is created equal.  In fact, there is definitely a plethora of butter on the market today that is best avoided altogether.  Here, we’ll outline some of the major things to look for in a quality butter.

Why Grassfed?

Exactly how humans do better eating natural, whole-food derived diets made from seasonally available foods… animals that graze on pastures and eat the diet that they’re biologically designed to consume, have healthier, happier lives.  AND just how humans do best in healthy, natural environments, so do animals!  Grazing animals that live on pasture are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies NEED to thrive, and can soak in the environmental nutrients that keep them healthy as well – such as Vitamin D from the sun!  The nutrient level of the foods that we consume from animals (such as meat and dairy) are of higher quality when the animal’s lives are enriched and healthy.  Real, LIVE grass that grows out of the ground and isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals provides animals with the nutrients that they need to thrive. Herbivorous animals (those who consume grass) have fermentation-based digestive systems that depend on grass, specifically, to fuel them and keep them healthy.  Ensuring that animals get what they need to be healthy helps to ensure that the dairy and meat we consume from them are full of nutrients as well.  Thus, the quality of the animal’s diet = the quality and quantity nutrients in the foods we derive from them.

Butter that is derived from grassfed cows is generally higher in nutrients such as butyrate, omega 3’s, CLA, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K, and antioxidants.  It also tends to be LOWER in toxins.  This is because toxins often accumulate in the fat tissues of animals, so the healthier the animal producing the milk, the less toxins to worry about!

Grassfed versus Seasonally Pastured

“Grassfed” is a term thrown around quite loosely in today’s food market.  Its meaning is rather straight forward, however, there are multiple levels of it.  Here’s why: As soon as an animal spends ANY length of time grazing on fresh grass, it technically qualifies them to be considered “grassfed”.  Like… that could be a day in their whole life, which in our books just doesn’t quite cut it on the quality side of things. So, what’s important to look for is the specification of TIME that the animal spends grazing.

(Real) Grassfed Butter

Provided that the farms who produce this butter are reputable and the sourcing is fabulous, this butter is generally the best of the best.  The cows who produce this butter are eating a wholesome and natural diet and their milk production reflects this.  

We carry two main Grassfed Butter Options:

Golden Ears Grassfed Butter:

Golden Ears butter is sourced locally in Maple Ridge, B.C. from a family farm.  This butter is cultured, meaning that it contains healthy bacteria that can improve the digestion of the butter.  This can help the digestion process in people who are sensitive to dairy.  With somewhat limited seasonal availability, we try to stock as much of this gold as possible so that everyone can enjoy it for most of the year! This butter has a very distinct yellow colour, and rich flavour due to the high beta-carotene content from the grassfed milk! #delicious

Kiwi Pure Butter:

Kiwi Pure butter is sourced from New Zealand dairy where there is plenty of grass to go around all year! New Zealand is actually known to have the best butter in the world, and this butter definitely stands up to that title! Kiwi Pure is consistently golden yellow all year, denoting both high beta-carotene content and high fat content! #yum

Seasonally Pastured Butter

Seasonally Pastured animals are grazing and consuming real grass for a minimum of 60% of their diet.  This means that for up to 40% of the time they can be consuming some form of grains to supplement their diet.  When shopping for seasonally pastured butter, it’s important to look for the “Organic” certification, and/or choose to buy that particular butter during “grazing” seasons.

We carry two great Canadian-sourced options for Seasonally Pastured butter:

Organic Meadows Butter

Organic meadows butter is sourced from Ontario, Canada.  It is an Organic Seasonally Pastured butter.  The cows that produce this butter are on pasture from April – November most years. It’s also a cultured butter, which is great for those who are a bit dairy sensitive.  A few times of the year, we’re able to get in this butter with a special badge on it denoting that it’s sourced from 100% pastured cows!!  We are sure to stock up on this butter at those times of the year to help ensure there’s enough to go around even into the off-season.

 

L’ancetre Butter

L’Ancetre butter is another seasonally pastured option.  The cows that produce the milk used for this butter graze for 60% of their diet on pasture.  The other 40% of their diet consists of Organic grains.  This 60:40 ratio is guaranteed at any time of the year, and since its produced in Quebec with a typical grazing season of April – October, this butter can be a great choice throughout the spring and summer months.

 

 

P.S. If you’re lactose or dairy sensitive, and you’d like to learn about an alternative, check out this post about Grassfed Ghee, which is clarified butter! 🙂

For more information on the butter options that we carry, or for clarification of any of the information in this post, please feel free to contact us! 🙂 Our phone number is 250-590-5524, and our email is hello@myhealthessentials.ca